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A solution to olive your problems

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Friday, August 20th, 2010

As reported on Israel 21C: Inspired by biblical descriptions of the health benefits of olive oil, physiologist Dr Shaul Eger has devoted himself to concocting remedies in which it’s a key ingredient. 

A search for a cure to his own health problems led to a whole new profession for Dr. Shaul Eger.

Thirty years ago Dr. Shaul Eger, an Israeli physiologist specializing in animal husbandry, was told by specialists that his heart arrhythmia was incurable and that he might die. He turned to ancient Jewish sources, where he read about the health benefits of olive oil. “I realized I had a problem, so I went back to my ancestors – to the Bible,” Eger tells ISRAEL21c.

He was particularly inspired by the Jewish doctor Assaf Harofeh (Assaf the Physician) a Mesopotamian believed to have lived in the sixth century, whose works opened Eger’s mind, and heart, to a new remedy.

Harofeh writes that olive oil staves off mental illness and other ailments including those which afflict the heart. “We know from the Bible and Rambam [a leading 13th century Jewish scholar and physician] that olive oil is good for the memory,” says Eger, citing the Jewish law book, the Talmud, where it is written that those who drink olive oil will retain their memory for 70 years.

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